August 2005 (Part 2)
SELECTION OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
In your questions and answers, you say that in your school what you consider the highest technique or skill is Sitting Meditation. It is the highest because it leads to the greatest achievement any being can ever attain, i.e. Enlightenment!
Now my life is a new one 100% different than before, because before I used to do things that deteriorate my body. But now I have this foundation all the time that there is nothing more important to me than cultivating energy in the body and have peaceful and tranquil mind and do all that I can to avoid bad thoughts and bad things. It is like my religion and the most important thing I have ever done in my life!
So I wonder is this foundation that I have that I cannot really explain, if this is Enlightenment, the greatest achievement any being can ever attain?
— Hugo, Sweden
Congratulations for your new found life. You have done a very wise and noble thing. Keep it up.
What you are doing, however, is not Enlightenment yet. You are doing spiritual cultivation. Spiritual cultivation is a long but very rewarding process, and now you are only at the beginning. Different peoples from different cultures may call this beginning stage by different names. In the teaching of the Buddha, it is called Right Understanding.
The ultimate stage of spiritual cultivation is Enlightenment. In some cultures it is called Returning to God or Merging with the Supreme. Depending on many factors, the time taken to progress from the beginning stage to the ultimate stage, i.e. from Right Understanding to Enlightenment, ranges from an instant, as in the case of some Zen monks, to countless lifetimes, as in the case of most people. But there is no need to rush. What is important is that you realize and enjoy your spiritual journey, as you are doing now.
There are many different roads to Enlightenment. The Buddha has provided us a very simple, effective and direct way, as follows:
- Avoid all evil.
- Do good.
- Cultivate your mind.
If you do the above three things, you are cultivating towards Enlightenment. You need not worry how long it may take. The important point is to do the above three things and enjoy doing them. Avoiding evil and doing good are self explanatory.
There are many ways to cultivate your mind. Cultivating energy, having peaceful and tranquil mind, and doing all you can to avoid bad thoughts and bad things, as you have been practicing, are some excellent ways.
You also kindly say that a One-Finger Zen master can “dot” the energy points of an opponent from a distance of 36 steps. A Strike-Across-Space Palm master can strike an opponent from a distance of 72 steps. A Marvelous Fist master can strike an opponent from a distance of 108 steps.
I wonder if there are still nowadays in the world some masters who can strike the opponent steps away. Many people believe that these arts about striking many steps away are lost.
Yes, there are still some masters today who have these arts, but of course they are very rare. Even in the past masters of such abilities were rare.
But even abilities that were actually basic in the past, are rare today. To be able to apply their kungfu forms to combat was basic in the past. That was the reason why people practiced kungfu. But today such basic kungfu skills have become so rare that many kungfu practitioners do not believe that kungfu forms and stances can be used for combat!
To have internal force was not basic in many kungfu schools, but it was common knowledge among kungfu practitioners and even the general public in China in the past that internal force existed. But today, even world known kungfu masters openly say that internal force is a myth! It is a great pity indeed that great arts have degraded to such a level.
When I do “Lifting the Sky” and lift my arms up to tap into cosmic energy I feel, while breathing in, like chi is only flowing down and stays there in the back of my head or brain. After the whole practice when I get involved in some activity that involves high stimuli, I feel my mind less concentrated and dull. I feel as though I have been drinking a lot the night before. (which I don't anymore).
— Tony, USA
If you have not personally learnt from a master or a competent instructor, it is better to leave out tapping energy from the Cosmos. What you experienced is a common side effect of many people practicing on their own but attempting to go too deeply in the chi kung exercise.
Just perform “Lifting the Sky” with correct, gentle breathing. If you can just do this, besides other benefits, this itself will help to clear your deviation.
Or might this be the cause of thinking thoughts during chi flow, I guess.
You should clear your mind of all thoughts while practicing chi kung. Whenever a thought arises, regardless of whether it is a good thought, a bad thought, a neutral thought, or any thought, just throw it out of your mind without fuss and without question.
During Standing Meditation I get mildly anxious and tense from noise or sometimes for no reason at all. Do you have any suggestions to improve my method? I'm thinking of going to Florida this summer to have Anthony correct my practice.
Yes, my best suggestion is to learn genuine chi kung from a master or at least a competent teacher. Seeing Sifu Anthony Korahais in Florida is a wise move.
A useful technique is as follows. Whenever you feel anxious or tense during Standing Meditation or any practice or activity, just relax and smile from your heart. Don't worry how you may smile from your heart, or why not smile from your lungs, or ask any question. Just smile from your heart.
When asking Bodhisattva Guan Yin for strength and guidance can I ask from my heart in my mind or do you suggest I ask with my mouth? I find that I'm more sincere when I ask from my heart. This question also applies when asking the spirit to leave.
(Editorial Note: Earlier the questioner had an uninvited spirit in his house and he asked Sifu Wong for advice. Following Sifu Wong's advice, he successfully asked the spirit to leave.)
The most important is that you must ask from your heart sincerely. You may ask with your mouth, but while doing so whatever that comes out of your mouth must come sincerely from your heart.
How do prostrations dissolve vanity and ego? I'm doing prostrations to clear my chronic vanity around girls.
When you prostrate, you physically lower and spiritually humble yourself before God, the Buddha, the Bodhisattva, gods, or whoever you prostrate to. Lowering and humbling yourself help to dissolve your vanity and ego. Each time you prostrate, you dissolve a bit of your vanity and ego. The more your prostrate and the more sincerely you do so, the more of your vanity and ego will be dissolved.
I should also add that on my first day of practicing again I felt a sense of peace and strength. It was little, but I felt it.
Congratulations. Feeling peace and strength, even a little, is a remarkable achievement.
Remember that Rome was not built in one day. If you can feel a little peace and strength each time your practice, and if you practice daily for a year, the accumulated peace and strength can be substantial and lasting.
I have gone through all of the combat applications in your web-page and find all of them very interesting and insightful. However as a practitioner of Hong Kong Wing Chun and also Sil Lum Kuen (Shaolin Kungfu) I would like to ask what from your point of view would be the best counter against the Wing Chun bil jee or chain punches. Like the Choy Lay Fut whirlwind (cycle wave) punches this is deadly and very hard to counter.
— Jon, Australia
There are many ways to counter the Wing Choon “phew chee”, or finger thrusts, and chain punches.
If you use Southern Shaolin, a good way is to use “hanging fists”. When your opponet attacks with finger thrusts or chain punches, move yourself to the “outer gate” (that is, outside as oppose to within his two arms), and “hang”, or swing, your forearm onto his elbow.
- Stances in Taijiquan and Shaolinquan
- Combat Sequences of Wahnam Taijiquan (Revised Version)
- Learning the Monkey Set
- Dragon Hand against Muay Thai Fighters — Part 1
- Kwan Tao Set by Sifu Wong — Old Video